The Ram temple is being prepared for ground-breaking ceremony on August 5. The event is likely to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

An impression of the proposed Ram Mandir that will be constructed in Ayodhya. (Photo: India Today)

Ahead of August 5 groundbreaking ceremony for Ram temple, a priest and about a dozen policemen on duty at Ayodhya have tested positive for coronavirus. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the ceremony along with 50 VIPs

Ajunior priest at the Ram temple in Ayodhya has been found positive for coronavirus. Pradeep Das, who is a pupil of the head priest Acharya Satyendra Das at Ram temple, has been put on home isolation following the test.

A total of four priests are given charge of taking care of the Ram temple. Das, who tested positive, is one of them.

At least 16 police personnel on duty at the temple have also tested positive for Covid-19, following which all of them have been asked to isolate at home.

However, it is worth mentioning that all the policemen and priests were subjected to rapid antigen Covid-19 tests and their RT-PCR tests have not yet come in.

The incident comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s expected visit to lay the foundation stone of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on August 5. The construction of the temple will start with the ceremony to lay the foundation stone.

A Ram Mandir Trust member had said that in view of the coronavirus pandemic, only 200 people would attend the ceremony and all social distancing norms will be followed at the event.

As per reports, separate blocks will be created for 50 people each in order to maintain social distancing. While one block will be for political leaders and those associated with the Ram temple movement, another block will be for priests and religious leaders.

Apart from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath veteran leaders expected to attend the ceremony include LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Kalyan Singh.

Priest, 16 cops involved in Ayodhya Ram temple event test coronavirus positive

Pradeep Das, the assistant to the chief priest (in yellow mask) has confirmed testing Covid positive. Photo courtesy Twitter/@alok_pandey